Video conferencing tools have allowed many sectors of the economy to conduct some form of business throughout the pandemic. If the world had been hit with something like COVID-19 just a decade earlier, the technology to do this would not have been up to snuff. Many individuals have been able to continue working from home while protecting themselves from the coronavirus. This is invaluable because at least for some lucky Americans, they can continue to earn some form of income despite the shutdowns.
Keep reading to learn how you can make the most of video conferencing tools for meetings and interviews.
We’ve all seen the memes and jokes about Zoom calls going horribly wrong, and there always seems to be a guy yelling, “Can you hear me? I can’t hear anything!” A big part of making video meetings and interviews a success is preparation. If you don’t have some critical pieces figured out before the call --especially if you’re not a frequent user-- it could turn into a giant waste of time.
The first thing to do is to make sure that everyone’s tech is working. It’s a good idea to send a checklist to all attendees to complete prior to the call. They should ensure that their microphone and sound are working properly. Most platforms have a way to test your audio and microphone. It’s even a good idea to create a test meeting so people can log in and make sure everything is working as it should be.
Next, it’s important to make sure that everyone involved can actually get to the meeting. A common barrier is often that people can’t seem to find the meeting link. One way to prevent this is to send out a calendar invite with the meeting link so that everyone can just click on the event in their calendar and be transported to the meeting.
Finally, having an agenda prepared for the meeting or interview is essential so that your time is productive. Send out the agenda with the calendar invite prior to the meeting and make note of where others are expected to present or contribute.
Take full advantage of the technology
Just connecting with colleagues is great, but to fully leverage the technology you have to take advantage of all of its bells and whistles. Doing so will increase the authenticity of your digital connection. For one thing, turning on your camera is a must. Meeting face to face is more productive and helps to maintain the important professional relationships that coworkers have built in the workplace.
Use screen sharing to show others what you are talking about. Just talking doesn’t always paint the bigger picture for your audience. There are also platforms that have tools that allow you to draw, type or annotate on the screen in real-time. Google Meet even has an extension that allows you to send emojis during the meeting.
Many tools also allow users to record the meeting for later. This can be a great asset when you need to review decisions that were made during the meeting, or when you need to share an interview with other colleagues to make a collective decision on a potential hire.
Use common sense
Some not so high tech common sense to employ during video conferencing is to find a quiet place to conduct or participate in meetings. There’s a reason physical offices have conference rooms--because it’s quiet! So why would you have your video meeting in a loud environment? Using headphones can also eliminate a lot of background and ambient noise. Also, make sure to find a spot that has a nice neutral background. You don’t want your colleagues to see your dirty underwear on the floor behind you. Speaking of dirty clothes, make sure that you are as presentable as you would be in the workplace. No one is expecting a three-piece suit, but at least make sure you have on a presentable top, your hair is combed and there’s no spinach between your teeth.
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